As I reflect on the past year, I am grateful for the love of family and friends, the lessons learned throughout the year, and the hope and possibility that lies in the year ahead.
Our household survived six months of unemployment. While losing a job is not great, the time I was unemployed allowed me to experience things I otherwise would not have been able to do. I was able to attend Hispanicize in April. I volunteered during the event, getting an insider’s look on how something of this magnitude gets put together and keeps running. I made amazing social media connections, which have in turn given me the opportunity to participate in various events throughout the year. Hubby also encountered difficulties on the job front. He is no longer involved with the cell store he put his blood, sweat and tears into. He was re-employed at his former job (thankfully!) and has huge goals for the coming year.
I decided that I wanted to pursue a new career in education, and I’m working on getting my teaching degree. Best of all, since I wasn’t working, I was able to spend all summer with my boys, quality time that we’ll always remember. In the fall, I started working at the preschool my boys attended when they were little, which is providing me valuable experience working with children and I can now confirm that a career in education is definitely for me.
The last year brought an end to a longtime friendship, something that saddens me greatly. But with it’s demise a few hard lessons were learned, the most important being the true value of friendship, knowing how to work together to battle the hard times, not just enjoying the easy, fun times.
We lost two dear family members, my great aunt and my great uncle, just months from each other. But through that loss, we learned to value not just the years we had with them, but the impact they made in our lives. For my great uncle’s passing, I was able to travel to New Jersey and say my goodbyes, something I did not think would be financially possible. And while my grandmother, grandfather, and (another) great uncle are declining in health, they are still with us, and for that I am grateful.
Midway through the year, I joined Garage Gym, and I am so pleased with this decision. It’s a financial sacrifice, but the results are worth it. I am in great shape, and it has served as great cross-training for my runs. I haven’t done as many runs as in years’ past, but I did run Disney (twice), and ran a few local races as well.
Even through the difficult times, we have been able to look at the positive. Every trial, every tribulation, makes us stronger. Every experience gives us strength and knowledge to do it better the next time. I am thankful for every day of the past year, every smile that was shared and every tear that was shed. It means we are living and learning. I know that 2014 will have a rough start, as we will very likely have to move out of our house early on in the year, but with this comes a new beginning, a fresh start. I look forward to whatever 2014 has in store for me and my family, as well as this blog (which will be 10 years old next month). We wish you and yours a new year filled with health and love, and lots of hope. There can never be too much hope.